I love face oils, but until recently, I used them only at night. I have oily, acne-prone skin, and I always found oils too heavy for daytime use. I don’t know if my skin has become less oily over the years, but lately, I’ve been loving adding oils to my morning routines. We are approaching winter here in Melbourne, and a few drops of a light day oil (on top of a water-based hydrating serum) keeps my skin soft and glowing all day long.

My selections below are all light and non-greasy, and they would work equally well as picks for spring/summer (in case you live in the northern hemisphere and are approaching summer, lucky you!). Most of my selections below will suit most skin types, including oily and acne-prone. View Full Post

If you’ve followed me long enough, you’ll know that African Botanics is one of my all-time favourite brands. It’s one of the only brands that has consistently wowed me. Sure, there are some products I love more than others, but overall, I haven’t disliked anything I’ve tried from the brand so far. I know the brand founders personally, and I love how they work closely with local African communities and high-tech labs to create products that marry the purest ingredients with the latest skincare technologies. I’ve used all of these products for a fairly long time (4 months plus), and here are my thoughts: View Full Post

Skin saviours from my recent Indian trip. 

I got back from India 3 days ago, but I’ve been terribly jetlagged. My main issue is trying to fall asleep. I slept at 6:30am the first night, and while my sleep patterns are slowly returning back to normal (I managed to sleep at 3am last night), I still feel really lethargic. Also, I’m rarely hungry. I don’t usually get jetlagged so bad, I wonder if it’s just a sign that I’m getting old!

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the trip. Like all family reunions, there were lots of great moments and some awkward ones. I spent most of my time at my parents’ place in Kerala, South India. I grew up in Kerala, but I’d never really realised how vibrant the landscape was until I left Kerala. There are endless rows of coconut trees that cover the landscape in a blanket of green. The deep red of the soil stains everything it touches, and it is a contrast against the bright green paddy fields, which, in some places, seem to stretch forever. View Full Post

Some of my trusty travel companions

I’ve been spending the last week or so with my family in India. My first week here has been rather eventful.  There was a sudden cyclone in Chennai just before I landed, and everything was in a state of chaos when I arrived. The roads were blocked and dotted with fallen trees and fences. The cyclone had disrupted mobile, TV and internet networks, as well — so I had a hard time getting in contact with anyone.

To add to the confusion, the government had recently demonetised 500 and 1,000 rupee notes without any warning, so there was a shortage of cash everywhere. India is a cash economy, and a number of shops don’t accept cards. The places that accepted cards often had network issues and the ones that had machines that worked didn’t always accept foreign cards! While I was getting frustrated with all these glitches, the lovely and ever-patient Chennai locals seemed to consider it all a normal – if inconvenient – part of everyday life. Such things happen, they shrugged. You just can’t help it. I heard no one complain when we had to wait almost 2 hours to get 2,000 rupees from an ATM, and no one seemed as disappointed as I was when the machine ran out of cash before we got to use it.  View Full Post

I’m off to India tomorrow to visit family, and I’ve been spending the last few days planning what skincare items to take along with me. I don’t know if it’s the heat and the humidity, or the stress of being around family, but my skin always breaks out when I’m in India. Needless to say, I’ll be taking as many decongesting products with me as I possibly can! After a lot of planning, I’ve zeroed in on the following products to (hopefully) keep my skin (and the rest of me) zen and balanced:

In-flight Skincare:

I’ll be taking Rodin’s Cleansing Powder with me, just in case I feel like washing my face on the plane. Since it’s a powder, I won’t have to worry about liquid restrictions and such. In addition to the cleanser, I’ll be taking African Botanics Intense Skin Repair Balm, Ambuja’s Wanderlust Elixir, Julisis Eyemulsion, Yuli Cocoon Elixir and  Slip silk eye mask with me in my carry-on.

A few weeks ago, when I happened to discuss my travel plans with Julia Noik of African Botanics, she recommended that I use their Intense Skin Repair Balm on the flight. Its thick balm-to-serum consistency will be perfect for countering the drying effects of the stale plane air. Ambuja’s Wanderlust Elixir is a recent discovery.  The coconut water- based serum, with its outstanding list of ingredients, instantly plumps and lifts my skin and makes me look like I’ve had a good night’s sleep. I’ll need this not only on the plane but also when I land in India, when I’ll most likely be tired and jet lagged. I’ll do a full-length review of this product very soon. I decided to take the Eyemulsion with me because I remember Julius mentioning that he always travels with it. I still think it’s the best eye cream I’ve ever used. View Full Post